2018 Hanna French Colombard 750ml
Winemaking Notes coming soon
Extra grapes elicit no delight in a large Harvest’s weary end, but local vineyard owner and trucking magnate Butch Cameron’s late October 2016 called, offering a couple of tons of Russian River Colombard got me in my truck fast. Once an important cultivar in Sonoma County, it now exists only in a few remnant plots amounting to fewer than 10 acres.
I had made Colombard from the Ukiah and Anderson Valleys years ago and enjoyed its enigmatic combination of vibrancy and neoteny - it’s not that it aged well, rather that it simply stayed young.
The River Road vineyard was mud slicked and pushing grass from a recent rain. It was easy to spot the, 50-year-old monsters with leathery leaves and football sized clusters. The fruit was tart, low sugar and delicious. We made a deal on the spot.
We now take most of this historic block. Every visit is a trip back to the 60s, when viticulture was a far less fussy affair.
The wine itself is bright, aromatic and low alcohol, deliciously ethereal.
The Oxford Companion to Wine’s Jancis Robinson wrote of Colombard: “It would take some sorcery to transform Colombard into an exciting wine.”
Time is the sorcerer, and we are happy to be the medium.
- Jeff Hinchliffe, Winemaker